Mythbusters Prove Cellphone Driving Is As Dangerous As Drunk Driving

Posted on August 24, 2012

This next story is an oldie but a goodie.  A couple years back, the gang from Mythbusters decided to test out something that is still cause for much debate nowadays.  They attempted to determine whether or not talking on a cellphone while driving is actually as dangerous as being intoxicated behind the wheel.  This issue is still very much at the forefront of the thoughts of traffic safety officials now, so we thought it’d be interesting to revisit their test and the results.

The test worked like this: Adam and Kari were tasked with taking a driving course under three different types of circumstances.  First, they would set up a control test wherein they would take the course without engaging in any supposedly dangerous activity. With that complete, they would boot up their cellphones to hold a conversation with someone outside of the car.  To make that task more difficult, they were required to answer simple questions designed to take their mental focus away from the road. With that test complete, they would have a few beers and then take the course one final time.  On the last test, they had to bring their blood alcohol content levels up to just below the legal limit so that their driving wouldn’t be illegal.

The first test saw both drivers passing, although not necessarily with flying colors.  Some points were deducted from each Mythbuster, but nothing too drastic. Then it was time to pull out the cellphone.  As the drivers attempted to answer the most basic of questions, their driving suffered considerably. Cones were hit, reaction time was lowered, and both drivers failed dramatically.

Then, with police officers on hand to assist, the two drivers got drunk.  With little food in their stomach, it was a quick process. When they got behind the wheel, they fared just as poorly as when they were talking on a cellphone. Obstacles were once again in danger and reactions were not fantastic. Both drivers failed yet again.

At the end of the show, a conclusion is reached:  talking on a cellphone is indeed as dangerous as driving drunk.

Check out the videos below.

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